KLETO, CONSTANCE STASSINOS - March 26, 1929 - February 17, 2014. It is with heartbreaking sadness that we announce the passing of Connie Kleto. She is now in the hands of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Connie was a faithful member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church, the Philotopichos Society and St. George Senior Citizens. Connie was a fixture in the Knoxville community for over sixty-five years. She, along with her husband Pete, owned and operated The Quarterback Restaurant both on Cumberland Avenue and Papermill Road. She was a special Angel, known for her "white bun hairdo" and could be spotted around town making her rounds. We always knew where she had been as everyone would always tell of seeing her, "I saw Connie today." She made the best Greek salad in town. Her customers at The Quarterback were more like close friends who came not only for the food, but to visit with her and Pete. Connie was born in Fragista, Greece, to Odysseus and Eleni Stassinos. She endured many hard times during World War II, as did many other Greeks who immigrated to the Southeastern United States. She was subjected to the harsh incursions of the Italians and Germans into her village on several occasions. Once, she was too ill with typhoid fever to flee their house into the mountains to hide. She left her village at the age of seventeen, walking off the mountain in 1946, entering the United States through Ellis Island, and settling with her family in Charlotte, North Carolina. She worked with her father in their family restaurant until marrying Pete Kleto and moving to Knoxville. Strong in her faith, she worked tirelessly for St. George Greek Orthodox Church and the local Greek community. She was a fixture at Greekfest for many years in charge of Greek salads. She took pride in every moment her beloved granddaughters, Alexandra and Ellen Kleto, performed at the annual Greek Festival and all cultural aspects of the Greek community. Preceded in death by her parents, Odysseus and Eleni Stassinos; husband, Pete Kleto; brother, James Stassinos. She is survived by her daughter, Sophia Kleto; son, Dr. Dean Kleto and wife Marcia; granddaughters, Alexandra and Ellen Kleto; sisters and brothers-in-law, Bess and Jake Gurley of Charlotte, North Carolina, Mary Chamis and the late John Chamis of Winston-Salem, North Carolina; sister-in-law, Helen Stassinos and the late James O. Stassinos of Washington DC; nephew, Dr. Sam Pappas and wife Diane; and many nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be conducted at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at St. George Greek Orthodox Church officiated by Father Anthony Stratis. Interment will follow in Highland Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at St. George Greek Orthodox Church with a Trisagion service at 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. George Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund, 4070 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tennessee 37919. Online condolences may be extended at www.rosemortuary.com. Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.
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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Feb. 19 to Feb. 20, 2014
Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel
6200 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919